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Waikiki Eats: Prince Court Sunday Brunch Buffet

A few weekends ago my girlfriend and I celebrated my birthday by enjoying a delicious Sunday brunch buffet at the Prince Court in the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki.

Upon entering the lobby on the ground floor, hang a right where the escalators are…

The banquet rooms and this restaurant are located on the third floor. The entrance to Prince Court is across the way where my camera is pointed in the second row left photo above. As you see in the bottom right photo above, Prince Court overlooks scenic Ala Wai Boat Harbor.

Here’s the complete panoramic view…

The photos above of Ala Wai Boat Harbor were taken from the window where we were seated in Prince Court, overlooking this view. Very nice, especially if you like boats like I do. In the bottom left photo, you’re looking towards Ala Moana. The bottom right photo is a typical table place setting.

Here’s more views within the dining room area and buffet line…

That gal to the right in front of the wine rack/room divider is manning the Temaki Sushi station.

Here’s more views within the dining room area and buffet line…

Very open space, with a family-friendly feel thanks to it being well-lit, while being rather elegant at the same time.

Now let’s take a look at what’s for brunch!…

Haupia Fruit Cocktail, Canteloupe, Watermelon and Pineapple

Oranges, Macaroni Salad, Caesar Salad and Mixed Greens. Here’s more dressings.

Pasta Salad, Portuguese Sausage ‘n Bacon and Eggs Benedict

Various antipasto selections

Korean Banchan: Kim Chee, Seasoned Cucumbers, Kim Chee Tofu, Seasoned Bean Sprouts and Kim Chee Cucumbers

Roasted Red Potatoes, Fried Rice, Maki Sushi, Temaki Sushi Station.
See the menu for the sushi station here.

Waffle station: waffles, fresh cut strawberries, whipped cream and maple syrup

Vegetables Du Jour, Roast Pork Loin with Boursin Mushroom Sauce and Steamed Opakapaka with Lup Chong, Soy Sauce and Ginger

Pasta station: Penne pasta, marinara meat sauce, alfredo sauce and grated parmesan cheese

Saimin Station: noodles, toppings and broth

Ahi and Tako Poke, made-to-order Omelet Station and Prime Rib Carving Station, Prime Rib

Cheese ‘n crackers

Assorted Danish, Sticky Buns, Muffins, Banana and Carrot Bread, Mini Croissants, Brioche Buns, Butter, Strawberry and Guava Jam

Dessert station including Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce, Cheesecake, Caramel Custard
Coconut Cake, Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie, and other temptations

Darned, for the life of me, I forgot to get a photo of the Snow Crab Legs station… one of the most important selling points on the buffet line! Well, for the record, there was indeed a massive pan full of sweet and delicious Snow Crab Legs, which you’ll see one of soon on my plate. I also missed a few other selections here and there, but this is pretty much the gist of it.

Wow, where to start? More like, what should I eat or not eat?! You know how buffets can be, where your eyes often are much bigger than your stomach. For me, I just stick with the premium dishes and mostly avoid starches, as those quickly fill you up.

following are the appetizer and entree plates that we brought back to our table…

We began our brunch a little after 10:30am, so my girlfriend was still in breakfast mode, opting for a fresh-made omelet, along with fried rice, steamed veggies, bacon and that amazing roast pork (top left photo). For round two, she also took advantage of the made-to-order Temaki Sushi Station, getting a California Temaki Roll, accompanied by some lomi salmon and ahi poke (top right photo). Ohw-right! That Roast Pork with Borsin (cheese) Mushroom Sauce was so delicious that she went back for seconds when getting an entree a bit later. Also on that plate is a filet of that Steamed Opakapaka with Lup Cheong and Ginger-Soy sauce (bottom left photo). Although it’s a starch, I just HAD to try their saimin (bottom right photo).

For my appetizer first plate, I wasted no time, going straight for the good stuff, grabbing a crab leg, ahi and tako poke, lomi salmon and mushroom and vegetable antipasto (top left photo). Going back for my entree, you can tell I’m a Poke fiend, getting more of that, another one of those deliciously-sweet Snow Crab Legs with cocktail sauce and lemon, a juicy medium-rare cut of Prime Rib with a slight drizzle of Au Jus and a dollop of Horseradish, adding just a little starch with a small serving of Penne Pasta with Alfredo Sauce and fresh grated Parmesan cheese (top right photo). Bottom row photos show a close-up of that succulent Prime Rib and onolicious Tako and Ahi Poke. Just looking at that makes me wanna’ do a “hana hou” again this Sunday.

For my dessert plate, I chose a slice of Caramel Custard Flan, Chocolate Mousse (in the cup), a Strawberry & Kiwi Tart and Bread Pudding with a drizzle of Vanilla sauce over it (top left photo). My girlfriend chose a slice of Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie, small slice of a Belgian Waffle with Maple Syrup and Watermelon (top right photo). There using a fork, you can see the consistency of the Chocolate Mousse (bottom left photo). A bear claw (bottom right photo).

Of course being a Sunday Brunch/yours truly’s birthday, we also enjoyed a glass each of Mimosa…

Well how was the food? Across the board, excellent. Oishii desu. Ono!

The steamed Opakapaka with Lup Cheong and the Roast Pork with Boursin Mushroom Sauce were outstanding choices on the hot entree line. That Borsin mushroom sauce was decadently-rich and deep, while the Lup Cheong and ginger-soy sauce flavors soaking into the moist and flavorful Opakapaka was to die for.

Of course the Prime Rib was fantastic, being juicy, tender and seasoned just right, with a nicely-salted herbed crust. The chilled cooked Snow Crab Legs were also sweet, tender and flavorful, and a perfect accompanyment with the prime rib. Those four items alone make the price of entry here worth every penny.

Not to forget the Tako and Ahi Poke, which were both very fresh and the sesame-shoyu based marinade seasoning was just right, being neither under or overpowering. Even the Penne and Alfredo sauce was delicious, with penne being perfectly al dente and the alfredo creamy yet light, not too rich.

The samin was the only thing I tried that needs work here. The noodles were kinda’ soggy from being oversteamed in the covered warmer the individual serving bundles are kept in, and the dashi broth was way too watered down. The sliced omelet garnish also was dry and flavorless, detracting from the saimin more than helping it. Perhaps they use that Egg Beater substitute stuff instead of real eggs. Dunno.

A trick I learned by trial and error in my attempt in replicating Sam Sato’s dry noodle recipe, is to make your dashi broth using a half-ratio mixture of chicken stock and water, then add the dashinomoto packet to that. Try it. Da’ buggah is a winnah’, gauranz-babaranze!

My dessert plate was equally as satisfying and delicious as my appetizer and entree selections. Standouts were the Caramel Custard Flan and Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce. YUM!

Our server and bussers were all attentive, promptly bringing our drink, as well as removing finished plates from our table.

Summing up her entire meal, my girlfriend gives Prince Court’s Sunday Brunch Buffet on this visit a solid 4-SPAM Musubi rating, to which I concur for mine as well.

The Hawaii Prince Hotel is located on Ala Moana Boulevard in Waikiki, a block before the Ilikai Hotel, where that famous clip reveals Jack Lord on the roof in the opening theme song (you can see the Ilikai peeking out, straight ahead in the photo on the left). Shown here is Holomoana Street where the entrance to the hotel is.

Another interesting historical note for me personally is, this is the former site of Kaiser Hospital, where I was born! So here I am a few decades later, eating breakfast and celebrating my birthday at that very same spot, with it now being in the form of a resort hotel. Such is the dynamics of life in Honolulu.

The Prince Court also offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and a Friday seafood buffet. See their website at the link below for more information.

Prince Court
Sunday Brunch Buffet
Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki
100 Holomoana St
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815

Tel. 944-4494
site: www.PrinceResortHawaii.com/hawaii-prince-court <—see sample menu there

Sunday Brunch Buffet
10:00am – 1:00pm
Price (current as of this writing):
$35.50/person, $17.75 children 6-10 years old

The Tasty Island rating:

(4) Excellent. Worth another visit or purchase. (Winnahz!)

P.S. Big mahalo to Franchot Uehara, the Restaurant Manager on duty who so kindly gave me permission to take photos of everything shown here. Arigato gozaimasu!


21 thoughts on “Waikiki Eats: Prince Court Sunday Brunch Buffet

  • March 9, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Happy Birthday, Pomai!! I went to their Mother’s Day brunch a few years ago and that place is worth every penny! And there was a Filipino style roast pork with crispy skin that was insanely good. (And interesting factoid about the Hawaii Prince being the location of the old Kaiser Hospital.)

  • March 9, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    happy belated birthday! looked like an awesome celebration.

  • March 9, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Happy Birthday, Pomai!

    I never eat my money’s worth at a buffet since I like to keep my girlish figure. That was cool of the restaurant to allow you to take all those photos. That alone deserves an extra SPAM musubi.

  • March 9, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    I wanted to try the place the last time I was home but never got to go. My daughter, SIL and granddaughter made a mini vacation for a weekend last year and enjoyed every minute of their 3 days and 2 night.s Of course trying the food! They really enjoyed the buffets! My daughter told me so much about the food.

    So will make another attempt when I visit again next month.

    But great pixs! Me I would attack the prime rib and poke!

  • March 10, 2009 at 5:40 am

    Enjoyed entry and see next time I will not drink so much Blue Hawaii the night before my Birthday Bash at this buffet. So out of it remember little what I had. Maybe head on there this weekend.

  • March 10, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Hi Pomai,
    TOTALLY of-topic…..As of today (3.10.09, until 3.16.09) the ENTIRE Sun Noodle line of products are on sale at Marukai. I just got back from there and bought 60 packages of the “Nama” style (2 for $1.89), 10 of the Shoyu @ $1.95/ea, 5 Tonkutsu @ $1.95/ea. Plus I thought I would give the Menma a try. Its a good thing I have an EXTRA large chest frezer.
    These prices are cheaper than Sam’s Club. Just wanted to spread the news.

  • March 10, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Winnah Winnah…Chicken Dinnah! Look so ono…remind me of the brunch at Maui Prince on Sundays. This one get lil’ bit more stuff though.

    Happy Bday brah!

    Las Vegas is the king of the buffet! We try to go when we can and when get some extra money. But it can be hard to find one with great quality after you’ve had so many of them.

  • March 10, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Birthday greetings to you, Pomai! I think I would do “Surf and Turf” also. Hit the lomi, poke, crab legs, any other seafood, sushi and the prime rib. Now I feel like going to Makino’s for lunch. ;)

  • March 10, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Happy birthday Pomai. Great place to celebrate a b-day. Keep up the entertaining and informative posts.

  • March 10, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Hau’oli La Hanau Pomai!

    Mahalo for more torturous photos! :-)

    A Hui Hou!

  • March 10, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    pomai-san!!! tanjoobi omedetoo gozaimasu !!!! hehe cheers and have a great one :P all da food pics are sooo sooo bad….and i just got back from the gym :( hehe rock on !!!!!

  • March 11, 2009 at 7:30 am

    I love the Asian influence in everything. Here in NYC most buffets have a heavy Italian influence but it si very Italian American which is usually not that good. This looks fantastic!

  • March 11, 2009 at 7:55 am

    When I at buffets I always never drink till end of the meal due to drinks fill me up so easy and fast and couldn’t eat any more food. I try to take small portion of every dishes to sample it first then go back for the one I like the most. I never miss out of desserts that what I enjoy the most.

  • March 11, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Happy belated b-day, Pomai.

    Hmmmmm…never thought of the Prince for Sunday brunch. I’ve been to their seafood buffet on the weekend and thought that was decent.

    Went to Naupaka Sunday brunch at Ihilani recently. It’s just a tad more than the Prince’s Sunday brunch. The added benefit of the Naupaka brunch is the unlimited Champagne (I don’t drink though; friends do). Azul used to have an OUTSTANDING Sunday Champagne brunch; however, they renamed it Naupaka and the offerings aren’t as grand.

    You’re better than the run-of-the-mill restaurant critic because you post a bunch of pictures. Most print reveiws have sapce for just one or two photographs. The pictures galore make me feel as though I’m walking alongside the spread, looking at each offering.

  • March 12, 2009 at 2:41 am

    I didnt really appreciate good buffet until I got to college. Now that I dont have mom and dad making dinner I cant get enough.

  • March 12, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday, Pomai. I SO want to go to that buffet right now! I would skip all the salads and pasta and head straight for the sushi, banchan and anything seafood. And, because I’ve never seen a saimin station in a buffet line, I’d give that a go, too.

    I’m not even there but I’ve got my selections already made! :)

  • March 14, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Sorry I took so long to reply to all of you. It’s been a hectic week for me.

    Jenny, that’s exactly what I did, except skipping the sushi. I would have been a sushi fan there if they were serving Nigiri Maguro, but nevah get. I think their Friday dinner buffet has that; at a higher price, of course.

    Gina, never looked at a buffet that way, yet have looked at TV dinners in that light many-a-times. lol

    Menehune, we checked out the menu online for Naupaka at Ihilani. Looks great! Not bad either, at just $5 higher than Prince Court. Must be a hit with all the west-side folks. As for the photos, one of my goals when posting reviews is to bring the reader as close to the experience I had as possible in a visual way. Right down to polished-off plates!

    Erica, great tip about taking small samples first vs. loading up on something only because it LOOKS good without having tried it yet. Or you can be like me where I reach in with my chopsticks and sample it right there on the line first… nah, just kidding! lol

    Ulla, yeah, I’d have to agree that a asian-influenced buffet would be more up my alley than one that focused on Italian. While I love Italian, too much of it can be redundant, not to mention heavy.

    Raph, arigato gozaimasu. As you see, Prince Court has many offerings that are health-conscious if you choose wisely. A Poke Salad perhaps?!

    Ipolani, I hope the torture hurt so much that you could practically TASTE it!

    ilikegrind, it appeared half the parties there were celebrating some type of occasion like a birthday or wedding. When we were leaving, they just began setting up a long table with flower centerpieces and other arrangements for a private party that was soon arriving.

    Gwyn, as you seen on my plate, that’s pretty much what I hit first. he he.

    C, you’re absolutely right. No can beat da’ buffet deals in Vegas. Check out the MGM Dinner Buffet. Only $23 for a spread that will make your head spin. Almost makes Prince Court look like on hole-in-the-wall Okazuya. Nothing wrong with that, though!

    Yoro, I was just in Ward Marukai yesterday to check out the Nama Ramen deals you mentioned. I still get choke Sun Noodle Shoyu ramen in my freezer (like 5 bags), so I didn’t buy anymore; otherwise I would have. I did get 4 bags of Sun Hawaii’s Original Saimin, which were also on sale for 2 for $1.89. That’s a GREAT PRICE! Better than Costco I think.

    Nate, yup, me too, Prime Rib and Poke, Prime Rib and Poke x 3 more times. lol

    Marvo, while I was taking photos, some folks were giving me tips on which shot of each dish would look good and how, like assistant food stylists. Was kinda’ funny.

    Kat, it was a quiet celebration with just the two of us. We both really enjoyed ourselves there.

    Molly, I a few years ago when we went there, I think the chef was Filipino, as there was entire section of Filipino dishes, including Pork Adobo, Pork Guisantes, Pinakbet and Pancit. IIRC, that same occasion, I also only got the crab legs, poke and prime rib. lol

    Mahalo everyone for the birthday wishes. Now I can go on in life as an old man, hanging out in front of Star Market playing my ukulele and feeding the birds. lol

  • March 15, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Happy Be Lated Birthday,
    When on Maui, best buffet is at Kea Lani Hotel.
    Check it out and enjoy.
    Aloha from Maui,

  • March 15, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Maui Ohana, mahalo for that.

    How’s Nick’s Fishmarket doing there? The one in Waikiki recently closed after decades in business. :-(


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